The Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA) has launched a Tourism Safety Initiative (TSI) website, accessible at www.tourismsafety.co.za
The primary aim of the website, says TSI Project Manager Ian van Vuuren,is to enhance the flow of incident information reporting. “It is of crucial importance that all incidents that affect tourists be reported on this site – theft, violent crime, commercial crime, and extortion. There is at present no comprehensive database of tourism crime in the country, and the quality of our products that depict tourism victimisation in terms of location, trends and hot spots, will only be as good as the information you feed us,” he states.
The website will be developed in an evolutionary manner, eventually including publication of the products presently produced via email. “When that happens you will all receive a unique access code to ensure that product confidentiality is maintained,” states Van Vuuren.
Although already available to a limited extent, future developments will also see the open publication of resource information that trade members and tourists will be able to access for general matters related to preventing and reacting to safety and security matters.
“This is but Stage 1 of a three-stage process to enhance the quality of the website. A detailed User Requirement Specification (URS) is being developed that will outline the detailed requirements for the medium to long term,” comments Van Vuuren.
“It should be evident from product distribution over the past month or so that there is a renewed vigour within the TBCSA and its partners to tackle the issue of tourist victimisation heads-on. These incremental and sometimes not-so incremental improvements will continue to be made. However, the quality of our outputs can only ever be as good as the quality and quantity of the incident inputs we receive from you,” he concludes.
A Tourism Safety Initiative Facebook page has also been launched. It may be found here.
Ian van Vuuren can be contacted on 012 664 0120.